US prepared to engage with Iran without pre-conditions -Pompeo


Pompeo past year listed 12 actions he said Iran must adopt before the usa would end the sanctions, including "stopping its support for proxy groups and halting its missile program".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday said that the Trump administration is prepared for unconditional discussions with Iran.

Pompeo, who is considered a hawk on Iranian issues, appeared to soften the United States stance somewhat on Sunday following weeks of escalating tensions with Tehran.

The brief stop in The Hague on Monday is the third leg of a four-nation tour of Europe in which Pompeo is trying to calm nerves over US-Iran tensions while also stressing that America will not relent in raising pressure on the Islamic Republic through economic sanctions, AP reported.

Pompeo made the remarks while in Switzerland for talks with Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis.

President Donald Trump has signaled willingness to talk with Iran's leadership.

Under President Trump, the US has launched a maximum-pressure campaign against Iran, reimposing sanctions suspended under the controversial Iran nuclear deal in 2015 and intensifying other restrictions.

"This may work in a real estate market". Otherwise, he said, Iran has no choice but resistance. "Try respect. That may work".

In an interview that aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week", Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif saw little chance of taking up Trump's offer.

But he stressed that "the American effort to fundamentally reverse the malign activity of this Islamic Republic, this revolutionary force, is going to continue".

"It's not very likely because talking is the continuation of the process of pressure".

Last year, Mr Pompeo outlined 12 ways Iran must change including stopping its support for proxy groups and halting its missile programme before the United States lifts sanctions.

Washington has since reimposed sanctions, and has been locked in an increasingly tense standoff with Tehran.

But at the same time, Trump has over the past week toned down the rhetoric, saying Washington does not seek "regime change" in Iran and holding out the possibility of talks.

Mr Cassis, whose country has been an intermediary between the two before, made no secret of his nervousness about the current situation.

Cassis also voiced concern about the "great suffering" in Iran brought about by the United States sanctions, and urged Washington to identify a financial "channel" to allow the Iranians to purchase humanitarian aid without being slapped with U.S. punitive measures.

Washington re-imposed sanctions previous year and ratcheted them up in May, ordering all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.

After a meeting with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Friday, Pompeo said Washington will not stand in the way of a system Europeans are developing to shield companies dealing with Iran from the US sanctions, so long as it provides only humanitarian and other permitted goods.



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